Our first stop was Virginia, MN. We stayed in the Elks parking lot. The day we arrived there was a classic car show going on in downtown Virginia, just a few blocks from where we were staying. We walked downtown and viewed the cars. Later we took a drive over to Gilbert and Eveleth, all within 5 miles. All these towns were founded around the mining community which is still the leading employer of the area.
Moving on the next day, we stopped at Mountain Iron, but found everything was closed. If we had only known, they had a parade and festival the day before. There was even a street dance and we missed it. One thing I wanted to look for in this town was a different kayak. There was advertised an outfitter who had used kayaks for sale. But they too were closed and from what I could see, they didn't have much anyway. So on down the road to Chisolm we went. It was only 15 miles or so to Chisolm so we still had plenty of time to look around once we arrived. We were told we could park in the visitor parking for where the "Iron Man" statue was located. Indeed, when we arrived there was a sign allowing 24 hour parking.
These tires cost upwards of $20K each and have to be replaced often because the iron ore can still puncture these huge things. What a hunk of machinery.
Here I am under one of the Mesabi Trailhead signs right outside of the Greyhound Busline Museum.
Back in Chisolm, we rode downtown and found this on the side of one of the older buildings. Do you remember Doc Graham? Now I have to go back and watch the movie again just to see if I recognize anything from the town in the movie.
There was also a Mining Museum in Chisolm on the grounds of a park complex, but it was Sunday and closed. The entire complex was built back in the depression by the CCC and had some beautiful buildings built in the style of a castle, with large walls all around. We also found there was a free dump site there for all you travelers.